My column for 24Hrs Vancouver this week: Ministry Meddling is letting kids fall through cracks.
I’d like to start this week by offering congratulations to Brent on our one year anniversary of writing the Duel.
When Brent pointed out that our first Duel had been a debate over the merits of a 10-year deal between teachers and government, I felt more than a little sad that a year later there is still no sign a deal is imminent.
While I agree the bargaining process between the government and the BCTF is fatally flawed, laying the blame for this failure of process strictly on the BCTF for “petulant bargaining and punitive rotating strikes” is a fatal flaw as well. In last week’s Duel, I succinctly demonstrated how the government’s punitive and, at times, illegal actions were responsible for disrupting learning in classrooms for over a decade.
The suggestion that removing the issue of classroom composition from the bargaining process will help is not only preposterous, it shows a complete lack of understanding of how integral the issue is to the education system as a whole
As a parent of a child with special challenges and needs, I have witnessed and experienced — as have thousands of other parents in this province — the failures in our system.
While it is correct that the numbers show a loss of “identified students” over the years, what is not mentioned is why. Those children didn’t just disappear, or stop needing help. The ministry changed how students with needs were designated, which left many children who had previously qualified for help, without any.
Read Brent Stafford’s column here.
For example, gifted students are no longer recognized, which accounts for thousands of lost numbers. Children with ADHD –regardless of the severity — are also not included and receive no assistance, along with a long list of other disorders that the government refuses to recognize. Not helping these children succeed now costs society far more as they fall through the cracks and mature.
READ, comment and vote for who you think should win this weeks duel at http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/06/01/ministry-meddling-is-letting-kids-slip-through-the-cracks